No solution for deported child asylum seekers

6 September 2013

No solution for deported child asylum seekers

In June and July Dutch TV broadcast a shocking documentary on the lot of children of asylum-seekers who have been refused and deported. Many appeared not to be doing well and were experiencing developmental problems. Prompted by these conclusions, SP Member of Parliament Sharon Gesthuizen demanded a reaction from Secretary of State for Security and Justice Fred Teeven. ‘If the deportation of children is leading to distressing situations we must make an attempt in such cases to bring the children back,’ says Gesthuizen. ‘They were deported under our responsibility and in the interest of the child we shouldn’t be turning a blind eye, even after deportation.’

Sharon GesthuizenTeeven today informed Parliament that he would be doing nothing for these children. In his view the restricted possibilities for their development would not justify a residency permit. 'I don’t understand why Teeven still thinks that our asylum policy gives full attention to children’s interests,’ says Gesthuizen. ‘If it turns out that those interests are being damaged as a result of deportation, then a revision must be able to take place, and that’s not happening.’

Every year hundreds of children are deported, knowing nothing of the situation in their country of origin and not knowing the language, the culture or the manners and customs. Yet the government found it responsible to deport them, and nevertheless now shuns the responsibility when it turns out that things aren’t going so well for these children. ‘The exisiting child asylum regulation (‘child pardon’) was a step forward but offers nothing to children who don’t or won’t in the future come under it.’

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